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posted by cmn32480 on Friday April 14 2017, @04:52AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the paging-ms-Streisand! dept.

On the heels of United's heavy-handed removal of a booked passenger comes another wonderful piece of news from United:

Fearns needed to return early so he paid about $1,000 for a full-fare, first-class ticket to Los Angeles. He boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.
Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.
"I asked why," he told me. "They said the flight was overfull."

Apparently, due to technical problems, a different plane was used that had slightly fewer seats. So fewer first class seats. So why bump off a first class passenger?

"That's when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute," Fearns said.

Seriously, United?

This ended up with Fearns being bumped down to economy class. With no recompensation offered. When contacting them to demand a refund and $25k for a charity of his choice, the reply was no on both accounts. But he was offered the difference between a first class ticket and the seat he was forced to occupy - between a couple that had a fight, refused to sit next to each other and spent the 6hrs of flight fighting. Oh, and $500 in United credit.

I realise this is just one side of the story, but still: this news surfacing the next day and these two events happening in the same week?

"I understand you might bump people because a flight is full," Fearns said. "But they didn't say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they'd put me in cuffs if they had to."

You couldn't make this up if you tried.

Indeed, I could not.

For shame, United. For shame.

takyon: United Airlines' Own Contract Denied it any Right to Remove Passenger
N.J. doctor saves woman on United flight where medical supplies were 'lacking' (a completely different story)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Passenger Violently Removed From Overbooked United Airlines Flight 168 comments

NPR reports

Passengers on a United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., were horrified when a man was forcibly removed--violently wrenched from his seat and physically dragged down the aisle. [...] Videos of the scene have prompted calls to boycott United Airlines.

[...] The Chicago Department of Aviation [...] says the actions of the security officers were "not condoned by the Department" and that one individual has been placed on leave pending a review.

[...] Passengers had already boarded on Sunday evening [April 10] at O'Hare International Airport when United asked for volunteers to take another flight the next day to make room for four United staff members who needed seats.

The airline offered $400 and a free hotel, passenger Audra D. Bridges told the Louisville Courier-Journal. When no one volunteered, the offer was doubled to $800. When there were still no bites, the airline selected four passengers to leave the flight--including the man in the video and his wife.

"They told him he had been selected randomly to be taken off the flight", Bridges said.

[...] The man said he was a doctor and that he "needed to work at the hospital the next day", passenger Jayse D. Anspach said.

[...] Both Bridges and Anspach posted videos of three security officers, who appear to be wearing the uniforms of Chicago aviation police, wrenching the man out of his seat, prompting wails. His face appeared to strike an armrest. Then they dragged his limp body down the aisle.

Footage shows the man was bleeding from the mouth as they dragged him away. His glasses were askew and his shirt was riding up over his belly.

"It looked like he was knocked out, because he went limp and quiet and they dragged him out of the plane like a rag doll", Anspach wrote.

Previous: Days After United Settlement, Baggage Handler Locked in Cargo Hold on NC-to-DC Flight


Original Submission

United Air's Abuses: Doing the Heavy-Handed Thing a Third Time 49 comments

Ever thought that this headline was a "shit happens" event?
2017-04-09 Passenger Violently Removed From Overbooked United Airlines Flight

And sometimes one can be unlucky twice?
2017-04-12 United is Heavy-Handed Again: Boarded, Seated Passenger Threatened With Cuffs to Disembark

No! United Airlines is at third strike right now 2017-04-15:
  * A couple says they were kicked off a United flight on the way to their wedding
  * A bride and groom were kicked off their United Airlines flight from Houston this weekend as they traveled to Costa Rica for their wedding.

Td;lr: Married couple finds their seats in economy class taken up by a sleeping man. By courtesy they just sit down on seats three rows away which happened to be in economy plus class on a flight which is half empty. They asked to upgrade but were refused and then headed to their assigned seats. However by then the airline had decided that they were rule breakers and must be thrown off regardless.

Details: United Airlines flight number 1737 on 2017-04-15. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, Texas) on Saturday to Liberia, Costa Rica.

Last time after the second incident, the stock took a fall from 69.8 to 69 US$ (UAL). One can ask how much this will cost in market value decimation and in customers dropping them? What will the economist and MBA, CEO, Oscar Muñoz say?


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @05:12AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @05:12AM (#493832)

    1) Build time machine.

    2) Go back to last week.

    3) Short United Airlines stock.

    4) Profit !!!

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @07:02AM (2 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @07:02AM (#493858) Journal

      There's now a new incident obviously and circa 7.5 hours before the stock market NYSE opens (09:30 ET). Perhaps a quick and smart maneuvering with trading orders this morning can produce some bucks?

      They have already taken a hit [advfn.com] (UAL) from 70 to 69 US$ in 6 hours. And further down it will go I assume because this just screams incompetent management. Perhaps they will go all the way to 55 US$ which seems to be a stable level.

      Any ideas on best shorting strategy?

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday April 14 2017, @12:52PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @12:52PM (#493933) Journal

        Any ideas on best shorting strategy?

        Already covered by AC. Hop in your time machine and travel back before the stories erupted. Now, it's too late. At this point, you should be thinking a potential buy strategy instead.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @02:58PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @02:58PM (#494002) Journal

          Can't seem to find any realtime data for "UAL". It should been traded for 28 minutes by now.

  • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday April 14 2017, @05:19AM (12 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Friday April 14 2017, @05:19AM (#493834) Journal

    A United employee, responding to Fearns’ complaint that he shouldn’t have to miss the flight, compromised by downgrading him to economy class

    So they downgraded him to accommodate a more important passenger, who arrived at the gate later than him. Not good, practice, but still:

    Instead, the service rep offered to refund Fearns the difference between his first-class ticket and an economy ticket — about a week later, as if that wasn’t the first thing they should do in a situation like this — and to give him a $500 credit for a future trip on the airline.

    They did not immediately credit him the difference in seat prices? They did not immediately give him some compensation for bumping him back to economy?

    Just what the heck is in United's policies? What are they thinking? It seems like their corporate motto is "we screw our customers at every opportunity"

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @05:37AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @05:37AM (#493839)
      It seems like every for profit companies motto is "we screw our customers at every opportunity".
      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Friday April 14 2017, @01:16PM (1 child)

        by Nerdfest (80) on Friday April 14 2017, @01:16PM (#493944)

        No, some actually realize that screwing over customers only works for the short term. Most don't seem to of course, and ideally eventually succumb to "Death by MBA". Doesn't work well where there's not enough competition though.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @03:01PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @03:01PM (#494007) Journal

          The United Airlines CEO, Oscar Muñoz actually has a Bachelor in Science in Business from University of Southern California 1982. But it gets better he actually has the actual MBA from Pepperdine University in 1986.

          So it really seems to be Death by MBA (tm). Reality sometimes beat imagination ;)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:05AM (#493843)

      Welcome to the world where money rules all!

      We used to be able to pretend the world was more fair, even though everyone knew it wasn't quite so. However now we have the internet so people get to share their stories about getting screwed over which makes it harder for assholes to repeatedly get away with being assholes. Fool us once shame on us, fool us a million times and we'll eventually get some video and sue/boycott yer asses!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:47AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:47AM (#493853)

      it's the CPA, MBA and CFO wet dream. They gladly take your money. They resist giving it back to you.

      Accidentally overpaid my Verizon bill once, like 3x what I owed. Called, explained. was transferred to Finance. Rather than cut me a check (trivial, I work with accounting systems). They wanted to EFT it to me. Um... now they'd have my bank account info for future...usr.
      I explained and tried tp reason that if I closed my account, they'd cut me a check for the overage. But no. "our policy is ro do this bu EFT". was too pissed so I just lwt it go and didnt pau for 3 months.

      Walmart and Target customers accused of shoplifting get the same or worse treatment and we applaud the police, because "lower prices". the "consumer mindset" is equally fucked up as bureaucratic policy & procedures bullshit. The bullstit rules & policies usually originate as responses to past incidents by customers...

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @11:50AM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @11:50AM (#493914)

        The reason they prefer to send it EFT is so they can immediately verify you received the money they refunded you.

          With a check, you might say you lost it, then they'd have to put a stop payment order on the check, send you another, etc. At the very least there is going to be a time delay before you receive the check and cash it, so they can't consider the issue closed until then.

        Paper checks are antiquated and problem prone.

        I don't think this is some scheme on the part of Verizon to defraud you, but I understand why you'd rather not give your bank info. In more advanced countries, you have a pair of bank account numbers: one allows withdrawals, another allows deposits.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday April 14 2017, @12:54PM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @12:54PM (#493935) Journal
          And fortunately, there was an alternate strategy available, keeping the balance in the account and paying future bills.
          • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday April 14 2017, @03:35PM (1 child)

            by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @03:35PM (#494032)

            When i was first starting out and got a sprint cellphone i paid my bill a year in advance. They'd shut off my phone service every month or two because i "didn't pay". I had to call, wait for support, support would recognize that i didn't pay my bill but that there was sufficient credit to cover the monthly bill, have phone reactivated. So annoying.

            --
            SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @04:18PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @04:18PM (#494057)

              I send "Consumer Cellular" a check for $100 to pay for my sister's minimal cell plan (she's disabled, mostly uses her land line). This covers the cost for about 5 months, have not had any problems with their billing department in many years. No problem paying ahead, every month we get a statement that shows the remaining credit. Saves on writing checks.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:57PM (#493964)
          It's also antiquated and retarded if someone can take money from your bank account just because they have your bank account number.

          We're not even talking about credit card numbers here.
        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Friday April 14 2017, @01:58PM

          by sjames (2882) on Friday April 14 2017, @01:58PM (#493965) Journal

          The banks are also antiquated. Why is there no deposit only account number for exactly this sort of situation? Why don't EFT transfers cost $0.05 (still more than it costs the bank). Why is it even possible for a 3rd party to just reach into your account and grab some money?

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:52PM (#493959)

        I believe that's rule #1: Once you have their money, you never give it back.

        See also #17: A contract is a contract is a contract... but only between Ferengi.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:12AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:12AM (#493845)

    The fatcats can pass whatever policy best fits their for-profit agenda and the poor employees are the ones who must enforce the policy or be fired. I think it is about time corporations got a serious smackdown and broken up into conglomerations of small business partners. The vertical integration needs to stop, we are seeing the first indications of what corporate states will be like and it is starting to be as bad as the sci-fi / cyberpunk dystopias predicted.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @06:43AM (1 child)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @06:43AM (#493851) Journal

      Seems their slimy drones are on a historical revisionism sweep too. Catch.. it can still be read [wikipedia.org] and one can find out who removed it [wikipedia.org].

      However in 2016 John Wayne Airport officials in Santa Ana, California threatened United's contract to serve the airport. Perhaps something to pursue now?

      And of course write about their shit service so no one misses how they treat customers. The stock market can also need a heads up. Corporate travel services can get the feedback that booking with UA is not appreciated.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:49AM (#493854)

        OHare is UAL's nexus hub. As such, no way will OHare ever sanction UAL. It's CHICAGO

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:57AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:57AM (#493856)

      It's human nature. Ever lived in a small town? Liked things that "normal" people don't approve of? non-Morman, beer-loving, smoking and cursing heathen living in Provo? Ayheist living in Bible belt or Hasidic neighborhood in NYC?

      Big companies like policies & procedures. Keep employee thinking & discretion to minimum, as thwy should be grateful for their jobs.

      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @07:18AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @07:18AM (#493862) Journal

        Which is why you avoid small towns and their people..

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @06:24AM (9 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @06:24AM (#493848) Journal

    Seriously, one can almost not make up this shit. This latest of United Abuses [wikipedia.org] haven't even reached wikipedia [wikipedia.org] yet. Any takers? ;)
    Any regular travelers will perhaps now put them on their air corporation shitlist. Where any booking results in the employer getting billed a good extra or loose people to competitors.

    Seems this will be a popcorn candidate with a crappy corporation that is morally bankrupt and topped of with top management that lack any enough insight on possible shitstorms. One billion US dollar share dip and they want more? Let's give it to them. Rub it in deeply. Trigger their drones to make even more mishandling and let their management suffer it through on the world stage judgement.

    It's not like it's the first time:
      * 2009 Breaking guitars for profit and indifference [wikipedia.org]
      * 2012 Personnel asked Iraq veteran if he was "retarded" and kicked his service dog.
      * 2015 Removed an autistic teen girl and her family from a flight without apparent justification.
      * 2016 Forced a female passenger to change seats because two male passengers stated that it was against their religious beliefs to be seated next to a woman.
      * 2017 Refused boarding to three girls accompanied by their parents (who were employees of the airline), on the grounds that their leggings violated the company's dress code.
      * 2017 Dragging paying doctor with patient bookings from plane with force.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @07:11AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @07:11AM (#493860) Journal

      Canada's transport minister: UA incident won't be tolerated [nzherald.co.nz] (yesterday!) The Canadian transportation minister "Marc Garneau sent a letter to the heads of every airline flying in and out of Canada to warn them that an incident like the one that injured an American doctor earlier this week cannot happen in Canada."

      Will UA succeed in upsetting the transportation minister before their new passengers' bill of rights in Canada is voted on? ;->

      Or if corporation drones picks a fight with a MMA fighter....

    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday April 14 2017, @09:56AM (5 children)

      by anubi (2828) on Friday April 14 2017, @09:56AM (#493894) Journal

      That link you gave about United Airlines breaking a guy's guitar was hilarious!

      The frustrated owner took his woes to YouTube and posted a song about his experience.

      Here's the song/video on YouTube [youtube.com]

      Well done, and hilarious!

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @03:13PM (2 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @03:13PM (#494018) Journal

        I actually took and viewed "United Breaks Guitars". He actually can sing and play. To top if of the music video is actually funny!
        17 180 634 views now.

        Can't someone contact " Sons of Maxwell" and ask for another song this time "United Breaks Bones"....?

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday April 14 2017, @08:50PM (1 child)

          by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @08:50PM (#494188)

          There's a video response to people asking him that question. He says the answer is probably no, but he reserves the right to change his mind.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @10:08PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @10:08PM (#494204) Journal

            Exciting times ;)

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday April 14 2017, @04:18PM (1 child)

        by kaszz (4211) on Friday April 14 2017, @04:18PM (#494055) Journal

        United Airline memes..

        Top 10 United Airlines Funniest Memes [youtube.com]
        1) Can't overbook flights if nobody flies @United
        2) Let me check your United Airlines stock today.. aaaandd its gone!
        3) Thank you for flying United Airlines *shaking up*
        4) 4 out of 5 doctors recommend United Airlines, except..
        5) Welcome to united flight 3411, We still need three more "volunteers"
        6) Walking dead: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... Which passenger has to go?
        7) Pepsi: We just made the worst PR decision, United Airlines: Hold my beer
        8) First class, business class and.. Fight class!
        9) Southwest, We beat the competition not you.
        10) Rocky, I made it on the plane bloody

        Trump sends Kim Jong [wp.com] free airline ticket to discuss his nuclear weapon program.
        Assad vs United Airlines [wp.com] "Uh-oh".
        United, Where you're treated like a king, Rodney King [wp.com]

        Even more memes [bookwormroom.com]
        Even more.. [google.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @08:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @08:37PM (#494183)

          my favorite:
          United Airlines: Get on the plane as a doctor, get off the plane as a patient.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday April 14 2017, @04:44PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @04:44PM (#494067) Journal

      People need to stop bitching about United. So they re-accommodate people from the plane to the hospital.

      At least they are not re-accommodating passengers off the plane once it is in flight.

      --
      While in an airport, never use the word "balm".
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:41PM (#494144)

        Yet.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:33AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:33AM (#493850)

    Also, scorpions on a plane. [washingtonpost.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @04:26PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @04:26PM (#494061)

      As long as it's not snakes.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @06:43AM (#493852)

    This is how airlines view their paying customers. Still, I can't believe the stupidity of United Airline's policies and personnel.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by What planet is this on Friday April 14 2017, @12:31PM (7 children)

    by What planet is this (5031) on Friday April 14 2017, @12:31PM (#493923)

    I can only hope that we reach a tipping point here in the U.S. where people will realize that the only way to stop this sort of thing from happening again and again is with a nationwide boycot of products or services that treat us like poo.
    I had to put up with airline travel as part of my job when I was working but haven't flown since. I'm buying a new phone soon and it's going to be a flip phone because of no root access to remove crap and tracking on smartphones. Even the sound system in our car occasionally puts up a message that you have to agree to that talks about distracted driving and keeping both hands on the wheel if you want listen to music. Really? Next sound system will be aftermarket. Where does this end.
    Have you had enough yet?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:01PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @01:01PM (#493937)

      > the sound system in our car occasionally puts up a message that you have to agree to that talks about distracted driving and keeping both hands on the wheel if you want listen to music.

      Pray tell, what make and model is this devil car. I want to avoid it!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @02:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @02:44PM (#493990)

      If you have to fly, you have to fly. Unfortunately, with all the airline mergers, a lot of times you don't have much of a realistic choice depending upon which airport you're leaving and which one you are going to. In some markets United went from 5% share to over 50% after they merged with Continental. What that industry needs is more competition, or more regulation.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 14 2017, @02:48PM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @02:48PM (#493993) Homepage Journal

      I've been boycotting all the airlines, since the TSA was created. I blame the airlines, individually, and collectively, for the shit service that has been offered since 9/11/01. I just refuse to play their silly-assed games. The best idea they came up with, were sky marshalls. Nothing else even came close.

      --
      “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @03:11PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14 2017, @03:11PM (#494016)

        > I've been boycotting all the airlines, since the TSA was created.

        Me too! I'm also boycotting Lamborghini and Ferrari. And SpaceX too.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday April 14 2017, @05:45PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 14 2017, @05:45PM (#494105) Homepage Journal

          Boycotting SpaceX? You fucking LUDDITE!!

          --
          “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday April 14 2017, @06:10PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday April 14 2017, @06:10PM (#494124) Homepage Journal

      There are several businesses I refuse to go to because of their mentally-challenged policy of carding everyone for beer, regardless of age. When you're 30 and get carded, it's a compliment, but when you're twice that age they're just mocking you. I make it a habit of never returning anywhere where they card me; my gray hair and wrinkles are proof I'm old enough to drink.

      Stop standing for that shit, sheeple!

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mendax on Friday April 14 2017, @07:10PM

    by mendax (2840) on Friday April 14 2017, @07:10PM (#494154)

    If you want to read more "funnies" about lousy United Airlines service, there's Untied.com, a web site that has been within the crosshairs of United Airlines for a long time because, no doubt, of its accurate reporting.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 2) by snufu on Friday April 14 2017, @11:27PM

    by snufu (5855) on Friday April 14 2017, @11:27PM (#494229)

    He should have selected the fare that does not include bludgeoning and handcuffs.

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